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Lesson Transcript

Sam : The Subway.
Alex: In Paris.
Sam : I'm sorry. The Subway in Paris.
Alex: Le métro.
Céline: Attention!
Sam : What's the backdrop of today's lesson?
Céline : So a man wants to buy a subway ticket.
Sam : Ok. C’est parti?
Céline : Oui. C’est parti.
Alex: On y va. Let's go.
Sylvain: Bonjour, je voudrais un ticket de métro, s’il vous plaît.
Céline : Un ticket Paris-visite?
Sylvain: Qu’est-ce que c’est?
Céline : C’est un ticket valable de un à cinq jours pour le bus et le métro à Paris.
Sam : One more time, slowly.
Céline : Encore une fois, lentement.
Sylvain: Bonjour, je voudrais un ticket de métro, s’il vous plaît.
Céline : Un ticket Paris-visite?
Sylvain: Qu’est-ce que c’est?
Céline : C’est un ticket valable de un à cinq jours pour le bus et le métro à Paris.
Sam : One more time, with the English.
Céline : Encore une fois, avec l’anglais.
Sylvain: Bonjour, je voudrais un ticket de métro, s’il vous plaît.
English speaker :Hello, I’d like a subway ticket, please.
Céline : Un ticket Paris-visite?
English speaker :A ticket Paris Visite?
Sylvain: Qu’est-ce que c’est?
English speaker :What is it?
Céline : C’est un ticket valable de un à cinq jours pour le bus et le métro à Paris.
English speaker :It’s a ticket valid up to five days for the bus and subway in Paris.
Sam : So guys, what are some funny things that people do on the subway?
Alex: Well, funny things... I'm not sure it's very funny, but what I like about Parisian “métro” is that you can hear people singing songs and playing instruments in Paris “métro”. It's very unique, I think.
Céline : Yes, I think so, but also, they can ask you for money.
Alex: Yes.
Céline : Not the same people. I mean the same people ask for money, but other people, they just ask you for money.
Sam : Oh really?
Céline : Yes.
Sam : That must be awkward.
Céline : Yeah, yeah. It is, but you just ignore. Or say "I don't speak French."
Alex: Or you give something. You give just a little something.
Céline : Yes, you can. Ok, pardon. Excuse-moi. Ok. You can give it. You can give something.
Alex: It's even better.
Céline : But some bands and some singers are really good.
Alex: And they should be accepted by RATB, which is?
Sam : The railway company?
Alex: Exact.
Céline : In Paris. Exactement.
Sam : By the way, is that public or private?
Alex: No, I think it's public.
Céline : Public. Ok, let's check the vocab.
Sam : Ok. Sounds good. The first item is?
Alex: Bus
Sam : Bus.
Alex: Bus. Bus.
Sam : Next.
Céline : Jours.
Sam : Days.
Céline : Jours. Jours.
Sam : Next.
Alex: Cinq.
Sam : Five.
Alex: Cinq. Cinq.
Sam : Next.
Céline : Valable.
Sam : Valid.
Céline : Valable. Valable.
Sam : Next.
Alex: Métro.
Sam : Subway.
Alex: Métro. Métro.
Sam : Next.
Céline : Ticket.
Sam : Ticket.
Céline : Ticket. Ticket.
Sam : Next.
Céline : Je voudrais.
Sam : I would like.
Céline : Je voudrais. Je voudrais.
Sam : Next.
Alex: Qu'est-ce que c'est?
Sam : What is it?
Alex: Qu'est-ce que c'est? Qu'est-ce que c'est?
Sam : Next.
Céline : Un. Une.
Sam : One, masculine. One, feminine.
Céline : Un. Une. Un. Une.
Céline : Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson. The first word is "métro."
Alex: This word is a masculine noun meaning "subway." It is actually short for "métropolitain."
Céline : "le métro" is derived from “le transport métropolitain” referring to the transportation within a large city.
Sam : Ah. So with time, it got reduced to "le métro." The subway.
Céline : Tout à fait. And do you know how you say the metro entrance?
Sam : La bouche du métro.
Céline : Yes, the mouth.
Sam : Oh.
Alex: Next vocabulary term is "valable".
Céline : This is an adjective to qualify a noun.
Sam : What does it mean?
Alex: "Valid" for a document, or for a person, "qualified" or "of value."
Sam : That's interesting. Can you give us an example?
Céline : Oui bien sûr Alex! For example, in the dialogue, "le ticket Paris-visite est valable de un à cinq jours."
Sam : Ah. So the special Paris visit ticket is valid for one to five days.
Alex: voilà.
Céline : Another example: Un athlète valable pour les jeux olympiques.
Sam : An athlete who's qualified for the Olympics.
Céline : Oui. Next word, Alex?
Alex: Next word is "bus."
Sam : Like to bus tables at a restaurant?
Céline : No! Here it is in relation to transportation. It is the short, lazy version of "autobus."
Sam : Oh, of course. A bus as in a truck.
Alex: Correct. We use also "autocar" in French.
Sam : Next we have...
Céline : Ticket.
Sam : Ticket. Like a “billet”?
Céline : Non pas exactement. Not exactly. Un ticket, you say "Un ticket de métro" et un billet “un billet d’avion”. Un billet c’est un document imprimé qui donne un droit.
Sam : That sounds interesting. So their meanings are a little bit different. "Un ticket" is a ticket for the metro, for example. And “un billet” is like a document.
Céline : Yes.
Alex: But you can also say, don't forget, “un billet de 5 euros”.
Céline : Tout à fait.
Sam : Can you say that once again, Alex?
Alex: Un billet de 5 euros.
Sam : Ah! Like a note. You can use it in place of the word "note". Like in English you say "one dollar note" or a five dollar note."
Alex: Yeah! Exactly.
Sam : Interesting.
Céline : Yes, but don't worry. If you're confused, I mean, people, they will understand you.
Sam : I hope so.
Céline : Bien sûr! So at last, we have the question "Qu'est-ce que c'est?"
Alex: We'd like to insist on that complete question as it is a life-saver.
Céline : It means "What is it?" when you want to ask about an object's name or a word in French or simply get explanation on something, as illustrated in the dialogue.
Alex: "Qu'est-ce que" is one element of the question. Equivalent of "what" in English.
Céline : "C'est" is composed of the demonstrative adjective C-apostrophe followed by the verb "être" at the third person singular form.
Sam : So "qu'est-ce que" basically means "what"?
Céline : Oui.
Sam : Easy. And why are you providing such details?
Alex: Because, later on, if one knows the why and how, it will be easier to understand and recognize the same element in other phrases.
Sam : I got it! You're preparing us for the future, huh?
Alex: Bien sûr!
Céline: Oh alors là…
Sam : Merci beaucoup.

Lesson focus

Céline : Let's get into the grammar.
Sam : Ok.
Céline : So, here the main point is to express a desire or ask or wish for something. The verb "vouloir" is used. In order to make a polite request the verb "vouloir" is conjugated at a specific tense called "le conditionnel présent".
Sam : Interesting.
Céline : So, let's study different formulations to make a request from a straightforward one to the highest level of politeness, using "vouloir."
Alex: Ok! So to express a strong desire or a straightforward request, use "vouloir" at the simple present, called in French, “le présent de l’indicatif”. Par exemple: Je veux un café. I want a coffee. It's a straightforward request. Vous voulez être millionnaire. You want to be a millionaire. This is a strong desire.
Céline : And then to express a polite request or a wish, use "vouloir" au conditionnel présent, which the literal translation in English is "would like". Par exemple: Je voudrais un café.
Sam : I would like a coffee.
Céline: This is a polite request. Vous voudriez être millionnaire. This is a wish or a desire.
Sam : You would like to be a millionaire. Me, too.
Céline : Wish or desire?
Sam : Well, since we all know money's not the most important thing, maybe it's more of a wish.
Alex: Maybe.
Céline : Je voudrais être riche. I'd like to be rich.
Sam : Est-ce que tu veux manger maintenant?
Céline : Ok, you used the informal. Euh… Oui je voudrais manger maintenant.
Sam : Que voulez-vous?
Céline : Alex, que voulez-vous?
Alex: Je veux danser.
Sam : You want to dance.
Alex: Yes.
Céline : Alex, voulez-vous danser avec moi ce soir?
Alex: Bien sûr.
Sam : Céline?
Céline : Oui?
Sam : Que voudriez-vous faire ce soir?
Céline : Je voudrais aller danser avec Alex.
Sam : You'd like to dance with Alex?
Alex: Oh, no!
Céline : Yes. And the question you asked was really polite. What would you like to do tonight? That was polite French. I think it's time to end.
Alex: To dance.
Céline : To end and maybe to dance, yeah.


Sam : So until next time.
Céline : À bientôt, Sam. On y va Alex?
Alex: Oui! On y va maintenant.
Sam : Au revoir!
Alex: Au revoir.


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Dialog (Formal)